Over the last few years, the world has been focused on understanding and adapting to Millennials, the largest and most-educated generation in history. They have helped drive a greater focus on flexibility and challenged current industries to evolve to meet their needs. However, we are now shifting the focus to concentrate on the new generation coming into the workforce – the Gen Z.
We researched the main characteristics about the Generation Z and how they will be contributing for the future of work. Since they are just starting to graduate from college, they will account for approximately 36 percent of the workforce by 2020. Evidently, it’s very important for HR professionals to become familiar with some of the Gen Z characteristics to begin engaging with them properly.
Here are the six main characteristics of the Generation Z:
1. Gen Z wants to win
They will put everything on the line to win. This generation grew up in the most competitive educational environment in history. Their competitive nature applies to almost everything in their lives.
2. Gen Z is financially focused
Generation Zers would rather have a job that offers financial stability than one that they actually enjoy (which is the opposite of Millennials). As it turns out, workplace engagement matters less to the Generation Z than it did for previous generations.
3. Gen Z is entrepreneurial
Members of the generation Z believe that there is a lot of money to be made in today’s economy. They have been inspired by shows like Shark Tank to develop their entrepreneur skills and look for opportunities ahead. They want people to give them space to contribute with ideas and innovations that will give them a sense of personal ownership.
4. Gen Z is extremely connected
Generations Zers have the power of technology in their hands, which allows them to communicate faster and with multiple people at once. However, to properly engage with this generation requires a balance between face-to-face interactions and online engagement. These two methods are important for them and they need to feel connected in both ways to be fully satisfied.
5. Gen Z craves human interaction
While it’s often assumed that Gen Z is focused solely on technology, talking face-to-face is their preferred method of communication. When they communicate about something that matters to them, they seek authenticity and honesty, which are best achieve in person. HR leaders are now re-evaluating how to put the human aspect back into business.
6. Gen Z is very diverse
For the Gen Zers, a diverse population is simply the norm. They have been shaped by a society that now celebrates diversity and openness, opposite of previous generations. Generation Z members care about most in other people is honesty, sincerity, and competence.
Welcome to the workforce, Generation Z!